->'''The Dragonborn:''' So the Key unlocks any door?\\
'''Karliah:''' Well, yes, but the Key isn't only restricted to ''physical'' barriers. All of us possess untapped abilities; the potential to wield great power securely sealed within our minds. Once you realize the Key can access these traits, the potential becomes limitless.
-->-- ''Videogame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim''

A power that is defined solely by wording, and thus capable of a great deal of stretching what it is capable of. To use an example from ''Manga/OnePiece'', the hypothetical power of "pushing" could be used to "push" people at massive speed in order to fake teleportation, to push concepts or to push away attacks. Can be used to justify HeartIsAnAwesomePower. Done poorly, it comes across as an {{Asspull}} unless it's obviously being PlayedForLaughs.

See also WhenAllYouHaveIsAHammer, ImaginationBasedSuperpower, and SwissArmySuperpower. Compare/contrast the InverseLawOfComplexityToPower. Not to be confused with superpowers that actually consist of [[MakeMeWannaShout using speech]] or [[WordsCanBreakMyBones specific words]].



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In ''Manga/MakenKi'', this is how Celia's "reverse" power works. Normally, she just uses it to reverse someone's momentum when they attack her, and for a while [[IAmNotLeftHanded everyone assumes that's all she can do]]. However, she can also reverse a fighter's strength (making them weak), reverse the {{Determinator}}'s aggression (turning him into an apathetic mess) and [[spoiler:[[GenderBender reverse her own gender (turning her from her natural male gender into a girl)]]]].
* It's common in ''Manga/OnePiece'' for Devil Fruit users to not have any obvious limits to their powers. It's stated that one of the true marks of a strong fruit user is how much experience they have with their powers and by extension, how many of these uses for their powers they can figure out. A good example is Kuma, alluded to in the trope description, who has the power to repel things. He often uses this to repel attacks, but it turns out he can repel the pain from a person's body, or send someone basically anywhere in the world they can travel to via a straight line (or taking gravity into account, a parabolic curve). That straight line limitation is only as far as one can guess.
** Another notable case is Trafalgar Law, who has the power to operate on things inside a spherical space. Being a surgeon, the ability to perform operations is fitting, but living things are not the only thing he can operate on and the word "operate" itself is not limited to a medical context. This translates to him being able to literally "work" (i.e. "operate") on anything inside his space, manipulating and modifying everything inside.
* ''Manga/{{Aphorism}}'' is literally this. All the powers of the characters are based on a single kanji. Someone with the character for "flame" can produce flames, for example. [[spoiler: It's even possible to change your power by interpreting that character differently]].
* The "hundred power" possessed by Kotetsu and Barnaby in ''Anime/TigerAndBunny'' is said to increase their abilities a hundredfold. They primarily make use of the considerable boost this gives to their strength, speed, and ability to resist injury, but Kotetsu is also shown using it as a HealingFactor and to enhance his senses when needed.
* In ''{{Tsukihime}}'' and ''LightNovel/KaraNoKyoukai'' there exist the Mystic Eyes of Death Perception which allow you to see the "lines of death" of objects, which cause the object to be destroyed when cut. This has been applied not only to destroy inanimate objects and mortal beings but also numerous immortals, poisons, telekinetic attacks and barriers and even space. The concept of death is stretched to tbe point where it is said that by the end of ''Kara no Kyoukai'' [[spoiler: Shiki at full power is basically a god.]]
* ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'':
** Josuke from ''[=JoJolion=]''. His stand, Soft & Wet, has the power to "steal" anything from something, which boils down to removing a certain property from something. He has already used it to remove friction from a floor and the "click" sound from a light switch.
** Paisley Park, with the Stand of [[spoiler:Yasuho Hirose]], from the same part. It possesses the power of "guidance", which has been used to organize internet search and GPS... or to give others a presentiment to push them ''exactly'' where they should be.
** [[spoiler:Gold Experience]] Requiem can return anything to zero. [[spoiler:It's used to set an enemy's death to "zero". Since he can no longer die, he gets caught in a cycle where he constantly "dies" then wakes back up a few moments before "dying" again]]. The character profile suggests that this power can expand to nearly anything, such as a person's motivation.
* The magical girls' individual power in ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' and its spin-offs came from their wishes; some pretty obvious simply from the wish's wording, some do not. More specific the wish is, more dictated the power would be. Sayaka who wished for her crush's hand to be healed has power to heal anyone almost instantly, while Mami who wished to survive a car crash has her power derived from a ''Buddhish philosophy'' of "connecting to life" which then granted her power to create ribbons, which then she can manipulate and shape as she wishes. Those barriers, muskets and cannons she uses? Made from ribbons. And in ''[[Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagicaTheMovieRebellion Rebellion]]'', she makes a ''[[ActuallyADoombot clone]]'', who spent previous 3 minutes fighting Homura in an elaborate GunFu battle, out of those ribbons.
* Sayumi Takanashi of ''LightNovel/WhenSupernaturalBattlesBecameCommonplace'' has Origin Root, the power to restore things back to their original state. In contrast to other powers in the series that are very straightforward, it depends on interpretation and is used from healing damage to the body and fixing clothes, to teleporting backwards (by restoring oneself back to where she originally came from) to [[spoiler:rescuing Hatoko from kidnappers by restoring the literature club back to original state with all its members present]]. This almost certainly includes being able to resurrect the dead, but she swore not to ever try that. Being reliant on interpretation also imposes its limits, as she cannot just [[spoiler:restore people's superpowers away]] even though she wants to, as she does not subconsciously believe that [[spoiler:having superpowers]] is the normal state now.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Mirror Master, one of TheFlash's enemies, can do just about whatever the writer can imagine as long as it involves light and/or glass, up to and including creating entire mirror universes.
-->''"I can use a mirror a thousand different ways. Can turn a man inside out. Cut a hole through a seven-foot concrete wall. Make ye see things from yer fantasies--or from yer worst nightmares."'' (''TheFlash'' vol. 2 #212)
* Cypher of ''ComicBook/{{X-Men}},'' whose only power is the ability to understand all languages. After being written as completely useless 99% of the time, writers upgraded his powers to include programming languages and a dozen other things most sane people would never label a language. For example, understanding "body language" lets him know what somebody's going to do in a fight before they make the move. And let's not get into how broken it is to have total understanding of the language of ''magic''.
* Various versions of the villainous android Amazo possess the combined powers of the Franchise/{{Justice League|OfAmerica}}. One version of Amazo turned out to possess the JLA's abilities on a conceptual level to such a degree that he could copy all members present or not and [[spoiler:he was depowered and defeated when the heroes temporarily disbanded the JLA.]]
* DoctorStrange is the Master of ''all'' Mystic Arts, thank you. In an early appearance he saves some bystanders using the Indian rope trick, an old standard from stage magic.
* [[DependingOnTheAuthor Some writers]] of ComicBook/{{Aquaman}} give him power over any living thing that has a connection to the sea. The trick is that it doesn't have to be a ''present'' connection: so long as the creature, or its ancestors, was in the sea at some point in time, he can control it. And guess where virtually ''all life on Earth'' originates from?
* ''ComicBook/TeenTitans'': Beast Boy can take the form of any animal. Do alien life forms count? Mythic animals? [[ContinuitySnarl Depends on writer and/or retcon.]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In the WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom fanfiction, ''FanFic/{{Harmless}}'', Jazz thinks the Box Ghost's powers could operate like this. With some flexibility about what he considers "boxes," it could provide him with a lot more versatility.


* In ''Literature/InheritanceCycle,'' this is basically how the [[LanguageOfMagic Ancient Language]] works, with skilled/imaginative magicians able to perform feats using words that have no obvious relation. For example, [[spoiler:Selena]] was able to use the word for "heal" to perform a form of PsychicAssistedSuicide by "healing" people of all of their negative emotions, which caused them to just stand there in a state of total bliss while [[spoiler:she]] just walked up to them and calmly murdered them all.
* In the Literature/AlcatrazSeries, the Smedry family have Talents like "being late", "talking nonsense", "getting lost", "tripping and falling," "waking up ugly," "dancing badly" or "breaking things". Doesn't sound like much - until you consider that "being late" to a meeting with a bullet or "breaking" the space-time continuum are fully acceptable uses of these Talents. The guy who gets lost is the group's guide (it acts as a semi-randomized teleport; you'll get to your destination eventually, you'll just get to see a lot of other random locations first), the girl who wakes up ugly is the MasterOfDisguise (she's got a ''really'' broad definition of ugly), and the bad dancer is one of the deadliest martial artists in the world if there's music playing (when he says he's a bad dancer, he ''means'' bad dancer).
* ''Literature/{{Nightside}}'':
** John Taylor has the power to find things. Things include lost people, secret paths, bullets that were just in your gun, air that was just in your lungs, crucial weaknesses, your death or the possibility that you were never born.
** Quite a few characters have powers to "choose and enforce an alternative timeline/reality/possibility." How far removed the new reality will be depends only on the user.
* Sandry in the ''Literature/CircleOfMagic'' series is a stitch witch, having magical powers over thread and anything made of it. This ability extends to things that can be treated as thread. For example, she wove her magic and the magic of her three friends together to save them during an earthquake, and she 'stitched' the soul of her uncle, the Duke of Emelean, to his body and kept him alive during his heart attack until the Healers could get to him. She is the only known stitch witch that can do this, since her teacher Lark, a Great Mage, can't spin or weave magic.
* In the ''Literature/{{Xanth}}'' series, reverse wood has an ability similar to the ''Manga/MakenKi'' example above, and can turn certain lame Talents into very deadly ones. Of course, given the LawOfNarrativeCausality is an actual ''law of physics'' in this world, it's not surprising.
* The major characters of ''Literature/PlayingForKeeps'' apparently have [[WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway lame]] abilities, but several of their powers actually have this function.
** Main character Keepsie, inherently protects her belongings by paralyzing anyone who tries to steal something from her. In other words, anything that's hers can't be taken away. She eventually realizes that her ''life'' "belongs" to her, which makes her completely immortal, and begins to extend this skill to several other metaphysical concepts. You know how people tend to call their companions "''my'' friends?"
** Michelle's power is the ability to carry and perfectly balance any tray, regardless of what's on it. She eventually translates this into a form of SuperStrength--if something is technically resting on a tray (regardless of the size of both), she can pick it up.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Players of ''TabletopGame/DontRestYourHead'' are explicitly encouraged to use their Madness talents in metaphorical ways, especially when [[LetsGetDangerous things are really getting dangerous.]]
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Nobilis}}'', players typically stretch their powers over basic concepts of reality in this way.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'':
** Yukari Yakumo has the power to [[BarrierMaiden manipulate boundaries]]. This mostly manifests in creating portals (i.e. the boundary between here and there), but stretching the definition of "boundary" means she can do [[RealityWarper whatever she wants]] (at least, [[UnreliableExpositor according to her]]). In the backstory she created a portal to the moon by looking at its reflection in a lake and manipulating the boundary between Truth and Lies, which gives you an idea of the level of power she has. She also has a spellcard titled "Boundary between Wave and Particle", anyone with knowledge in physics can confirm that changing this particular boundary to any degree at all would cause the universe to suffer CriticalExistenceFailure.
** Suika has the ability to manipulate density. This lets her change size, transform into mist, create mini-Suikas and black holes, and ''cause people to subconciously gather for a feast''. How did that last one work? She manipulated ''population density''.
** Reimu has the power to drift through the air, in a world where everybody can fly anyway. However, Reimu can apply this trope to her power to fly, such as "drifting ''[[IntangibleMan out of reality]]''", an ability which would make her literally undefeatable if she didn't give it a time limit to abide by the [[DuelsDecideEverything spell-card rules]].
** Seija Kijin can turn things upside down. This includes things like the social order, or [[InterfaceScrew the player's controls]].
** Reisen's listed power is manipulation of madness, but the basic application of her power is actually manipulation of wave. Any kind of wave. Her telepathy and anti-rat cat statues in ''Forbidden Scrollery '' works by manipulating radio signal, the three fairies' power doesn't work on her because they're using light as medium, and even her so called manipulation of 'madness' is because she's capable of seeing brainwaves and disturbing the frequency.
** Tsukumogami in general are a bunch of wildcards in term of power. As they are tool given life, their powers are depending on their users, or even those who ''might'' be their users through second hand myth. So Raiko is a drum with ability to ride rhythms. In Japanese myth, the most notable drummer is the thunder god Raijin who hit his drums to make his thunders, so Raiko accordingly can do the same. [[{{Karakasa}} Kogasa]] is an umbrella who can surprise anyone. She's a weak second stage boss who appears as the extra stage mid-boss along with the power boost ''[[BreakingTheFourthWall just so she can surprise the players]]''. In ''Wild and Horned Hermit'' she appears as a blacksmith capable of fixing even divine tools because of both this reason and the obscure myth about {{karakasa}}-obake having similar appearance as the blacksmith youkai Ippon-Datara, whom she shares the name of.
* In ''VideoGame/TheSpellcastingSeries'', the UPPSSY spell turns anything into its opposite, broadly speaking. For instance, it will turn a two-by-four into a four-by-two, a jellyfish into a peanut butterfish, a crooked casino into a straight casino, or a flat-chested girl into a big-busted girl. Likewise, the RATANT spell turns a spell into similarly-sounding but vastly different spell, such as turning the "spell of opposites" into "spell of opossums".
* As shown in the page quote, ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'' has a perfect example in [[DarkIsNotEvil Nocturnal's]] Daedric Artifact, the Skeleton Key. It "unlocks" anything, in a very broadly-interpreted sense. This means that anything which is restricted, hidden or not used to its potential can be "unlocked" in this way. In the case of [[spoiler:Mercer Frey]], he uses it to gain SuperStrength. However, [[GameplayAndStorySegregation the player is unable to use it as anything other than an unbreakable lockpick]].
* Not a superpower, but the hero of ''VideoGame/QuestForGlory'' has the potential to raise his lockpicking skill by using his lockpicks to ''pick his nose'' [[YetAnotherStupidDeath (if it doesn't kill him, instead.)]]
* In the ''Franchise/{{Disgaea}}'' series, thieves can steal equipment from enemies, but they can also steal metaphysical concepts like health (rendering the target poisoned), memory (causing the target to forget how to use skills), consciousness (causes target to fall asleep) and even stats (increasing the thief's own, permanently).

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* The titular Keys of the ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'' webcomic ''Webcomic/KeychainOfCreation'' have the simple ability to unlock things, including the seals on the local {{Cosmic Horror}}s. However, according to WordOfGod, obtaining all five Keys grants the wielder omnipotence, as long as they can phrase the desired action as "unlocking." For example, the [[OmnicidalManiac Deathlords]] are immortal, or one might say "locked" to life, and thus can be killed with proper use of the Keys.
* Parodied by ''Webcomic/EightBitTheater''. Red Mage is constantly showing his companions that he can make anything a MinmaxersDelight. Lockpicking can be accomplished, for instance, using the pickpocket skill because it's just removing a lock from a pocket in a door. The interrogation skill is simply emptying pockets of information in people's minds. This being 8-Bit Theater, InsaneTrollLogic is completely applicable [[AchievementsInIgnorance if you're stupid enough to not wonder how it's at all possible.]] ("[[http://www.nuklearpower.com/2008/05/01/episode-986-164/ There is no problem that cannot be overcome by an imaginative and vigorous use of the animal husbandry skill.]]") Likewise, Thief can steal things that are intangible or that ''don't exist'', basically [[ImpossibleThief doing anything as long as can be called "theft"]]. Fighter can block anything, including the ground from a fall. Fighter's "logic" for this is that he's blocked the other elements, so why not Earth?
* The Kayoss Royal Family in ''Webcomic/LsEmpire'' are all granted a single word. Any definition of that word is available to them as a power. The current king has the power of sound; so he can control sound waves, [[CompellingVoice make whatever he says perfectly believable]], and put anything into a perfect (sound) state.
* ''Webcomic/{{Erfworld}}'':
** "[[{{Whatevermancy}} Turnamancers]]" have power over [[TurnBasedStrategy turns]], but can also [[HeelFaceTurn turn]] [[FaceHeelTurn units]].
** Shockamancy is the magic of both electricity and any sort of surprise, including the [[ShowSomeLeg Flash Mob]] ability the [[AmazonBrigade Archons]] use.
** Thanks to the mechanics of linking casters for a spell, creative use of linking can allow for this. Example? [[spoiler: Parson linking an Earthamancer with a Croakamancer, and uncroaking (reviving) a ''volcano'']].
* In ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' a lot of Sburb class powers seem to depend on how creatively you can reinterpret the meaning of your class/aspect. For example, Roxy is the Rogue of Void. This translates to Thief of Nothing, which sounds useless (not stealing anything) until [[spoiler:Jade explains that she can steal the concept of nothingness from something [[ThePowerOfCreation to create it]].]]
* In ''Webcomic/UseSwordOnMonster'', most of the protagonist characters have the ability to wield a weapon and go on "auto-pilot," allowing their body to heroically fight monsters by enchanting their swords and bodies. While most of them use swords, any weapon will do, and as it turns out, ''anything'' will do if you can conceive of it as a "weapon." Humphrey manages to expertly pilot a plane into a monster when Maga helps convince him it's just a really big sword.
-->'''Humphrey:''' OUR WINGS JUST FELL OFF!\\
'''Maga:''' That doesn't really matter.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''Literature/TalesOfMU'':
** Fairy gifts. One character is blessed with the gift of "is always the strongest person in the room". When a dragon enters the same room as her, things start going out of hand.
** Another character has the gift "divine laughter", a sparkling laughter which is appreciated by everyone except demonbloods, who react unfavorably to the "divine" part.
* Lightfoot of ''[[ASHUniverse ASH]]'' has the power to make anything he's touching go faster. Naturally, this lets him [[SuperSpeed make himself go faster]] but he was also able to make a giant statue that would normally have taken a century to sink into the earth do so in minutes. His power makes things ''happen'' faster, not ''move'' faster.
* On ThisVeryWiki, much of the protagonist of [[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=13967366270A45619600&page=1 this forum game]]'s power is based on this. At least, until the [[spoiler: AndNowForSomeoneCompletelyDifferent(?).]]


[[folder:Western Animation]]
* On ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold,'' ComicBook/{{Aquaman}} can his use telepathic connection with fish to control silverfish, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silverfish which are (non-aquatic) insects]], annoying [[ComicBook/TheAtom Ryan Choi]] And in the FantasticVoyagePlot episode he controls white blood cells, resulting in him using one as a steed and calling it 'Platelet'.